PREMIER Colin Barnett highlighted the “extraordinary degree of collaboration” involved in creating the new 307-bed Midland public hospital before officially opening it last Friday.
He praised the State and Federal governments’ “simple but good decision to evenly share the $360 million cost” of the hospital, which opens tomorrow.
He thanked WA health Minister Kim Hames and Federal Assistant Health Minister Ken Wyatt before saying Dr Hames had overseen a “once in 100-year transformation of health services in WA”.
Mr Barnett acknowledged the collaboration between the previous and current director general of health and private operator St John of God Health Care.
“It has taken two to tango in that sense,” he said. “We’ve had a few issues along the way but we got through those and I have no doubt that this public hospital under the management of St John of God will provide magnificent health services for the people of this community.”
He said the hospital was expecting big demand in its first year, including more than 30,000 admissions.
Dr Hames thanked the staff at Swan District Hospital, which closes tomorrow.
St John of God Health Care Group chief executive Michael Stanford said the organisation would work hard to respect the diversity of the local population, noting it was home to a quarter of Perth’s Aboriginal people.
“We will be an attractive employer to people in the region in addition to the 1500 caregivers already in our employ,” he said.
Mr Stanford thanked the State Government for “its faith in us as a hospital operator and in support of us over the past three and a half years”.
He thanked Brookfield Multiplex and Hassell architects for the construction and design of the hospital.